Get off your phone!
Ashley and I were recently at a cookout with some top-notch investors, and one of my really good friends was in attendance. As we were sitting around the fire pit, he told us about something that had just been revealed to him, which I felt like I should share with you.
It all happened at a mastermind he attended.
You see, masterminds are meetings where like minded people get together to talk about and solve issues they are experiencing and also to share new ideas that have proven successful. The best masterminds transcend just improving business life and enter into improving the attendees’ personal lives as well. Because — let’s face it — your work life has an impact on your personal life and vice versa. So, by improving upon both aspects, you become more effective for those you are working for — whether that’s your client or your family.
During my buddy’s mastermind, he got put on the “hot seat,” which is where you get to explain difficulties you are having and receive advice from the group. One of the issues that got brought up was how much time my friend was spending on his phone.
You see, his wife and some of his close friends were in the group, and they had noticed that he was constantly answering calls, sending text messages and scrolling social media. This happened at all hours of the day — including during kid school events and family time.
He didn’t even realize he was doing it and that he was absent from present moments because of it. It had just become a habit.
As he relayed this situation to us, it reminded of something in my life too.
When my oldest son was about two years old, we’d been running our business for only three years, and I was doing everything from finding deals, closing deals and rehabbing the deals (working on them myself and then managing sub-contractors). And that was just on the flips. I was marketing our rentals, vetting our tenants, installing the tenants and then managing the properties.
That meant I was on the phone ALL-THE-TIME! It didn’t matter if I was painting a house or if I was exercising or if I was sitting at the dinner table. If the phone rang, I was answering it.
Well, one night, I was at home with my son, and he had a toy phone that I noticed he’d been playing with a lot. But when I heard what was he was doing with it, I got choked up and convicted all at once.
You see, my boy would pick up his phone and start talking to Dada. And even though he had a working toddler vocabulary — momma being part of it — Dada was the only one he was trying to talk to on the phone. That’s because Dada was the one who was absent. He could walk right over and talk to momma, but from what he could see, in order to talk to Dada he was going to need to get me on the phone.
That hurt, y’all. But it changed me.
You see, my “why” has very little to do with wealth building. Instead, the reason Ashley and I got into investing was to have the financial freedom to be a part of our kids lives on our terms and how we see fit. This instance revealed my phone was violating my “why” because I was at its beck and call. As such, the next day I changed my voicemail to say that if you reach me outside the hours of 9 a.m. and 5p.m., you can expect a call back on the next business day.
To my knowledge I’ve never missed a deal because of this change. Even my tenants know that I’m on family time after 5 p.m. I tell them that if it’s an emergency, call, and it’ll go to voicemail. I’ll then listen to the message, and if it can’t wait until tomorrow, I’ll call back. And they are good with that.
After being on the hot seat, my friend told himself that he needed to get off his phone and start being present in the moments that matter, and I thought that was great advice.
Do emergencies still happen? You bet. I’ve had to get up from the dinner table to go handle emergency rental services calls more than once, and I’ve had to take a call about a contract we had to get signed by a certain time.
But for the most part, phone calls, text messages and especially Facebook posts can wait until I’m not at the dinner table, and most can wait until the next day.
Don’t let a little device steal the freedom you are working so hard for. Be present when it matters. And get off your phone!
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.